National Health Laboratory Service: Diamond Of The Laboratory Medicine Congress

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The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa, is the Diamond Sponsor of the first Laboratory Medicine Congress.

All the key role-players in medical laboratory science in South Africa have collaborated to arrange such a multi-faceted congress, the NHLS will also utilise the opportunity to showcase its enormous contribution to revolutionary research into diseases affecting the people of our country through oral presentations, posters as well as an exhibition.

Sagie Pillay, Chief Executive Officer of the NHLS, will officially open the congress on 1st September 2011. In a continent so often besieged by a lack of resources, Sagie reminds us of our strengths, that we don't need to continuously look elsewhere or in other countries for guidance; we already have progressive expertise and innovation in medical laboratory science right here in South Africa – we just need to capitalise on this and harness it to our advantage and for the benefit of all South Africans.

Following the opening ceremony, Professor Hendrik Koornhof of the NHLS will be honoured with a special award for his life-time contribution and dedication to laboratory medicine. Emeritus Professor Koornhof is an internationally renowned medical microbiologist. At the age of 84, Professor Koornhof is still making an invaluable contribution to one of the Department of Health’s National Priority Programmes, at the Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory of the NHLS.

The inaugural “Professor Hendrik Koornhof Address” will be delivered by Professor Jill Murray, Head of Pathology at the National Institute of Occupational Health, entitled, “Routinely collected laboratory data: a powerful resource”. It is especially fitting that Professor Murray is delivering this address, as she has a long-standing working collaboration with Professor Koornhof, which started with her specialisation in anatomical pathology at the NHLS’s forerunner, South African Institute for Medical Research where Professor Koornhof commenced his career in 1955.